Phillipo Baptist Church completes $25m restoration
Published: Friday | June 19, 2009
Spanish Town's historic Phillipo Baptist Church has received a $25-million restoration, and is again the pride and joy of residents of the St Catherine capital.
The church was damaged during Hurricane Dean in 2007, which ripped the roof off the building, disrupting many of the programmes on the church's calendar.
This is all set to change after a 20-month restoration work conducted by Tank-Weld Ltd.
At the official reopening of the church on Sunday, Canon Weeville Gordon, who brought greetings on behalf of the governor general, described the occasion as touching, adding that he was proud to be part of the occasion.
Olivia Grange, member of parliament for Central St Catherine, brought greetings on behalf of the prime minister and described the building as special.
"This edifice represents a great part of the nation's history, therefore, we need for all to be aware of the pride and joy it gives to see the restoration done. James Phillipo was even denied permission to preach to slaves several times, but this did not stop him from setting up the church,'' Grange said.
The culture minister said the church played a role in the fight for the abolition of slavery, and that even by today's standards is still an impressive architectural creation.
Because the church was originally built in 1818, contractors faced a number of challenges during the restoration process, which involved the roof being lifted by two feet.
The planning and building committee worked assiduously to get the project off the ground. A member of the committee told the audience that it was the second storm to ravage the 190-year-old building.
Reverend Jeffrey McKenzie thanked the group for helping to make the project a fruitful one, and told the gathering that all will be done by the church to make it a labour of love.
A number of residents told The Gleaner that they were pleased that the church was being fixed as it added beauty to their community.
'This edifice represents a great part of the nation's history, therefore, we need for all to be aware of the pride and joy it gives to see the restoration done.'